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08 February 2006

Doctor's fail the test...

I read an article on Yahoo today regarding drug testig for teens and found it quite disturbing that "a new study suggests most doctors don't have enough training to ensure test results are correct and unadulterated". Apparently, there's a proper way to collect samples, "but when researchers at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital in Boston surveyed of 360 primary-care doctors, they found that most reported failed to use these techniques when collecting urine samples from kids aged 12 to 18. Many were also unaware of the tests' limitations.

This study shows that although most primary-care physicians order urine drug tests, most do not use recommended procedures for urine test collection, validation and confirmation and lack the knowledge needed to correctly interpret positive and negative results," the study authors wrote in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

The study found that only 23 percent of doctors used an effective method of collecting urine samples and only 10 percent knew that nitrous oxide, ecstasy and oxycodone could not be detected in standard urine tests. Sixty-one percent of the doctors gave the incorrect answer or said "don't know" when asked if secondhand exposure to marijuana smoke would bring about a positive result on a urine drug test.

"Physicians and parents may be falsely reassured that their child is not using a particular drug when the child never underwent proper testing for it," the Boston team conclude. On the other hand, "misinterpretation of a false-positive finding can put adolescents at risk for false accusation of substance use and diminished trust from parents, school personnel and counselors."

Now, when I was an avid watcher of the show Nip/Tuck, there was an episode where the doctors had to perform a "fake" plastic surgery on some dummies so that they could keep their license. I think doctors should have to do this,too. Just to prove they know what the hell they're doing. Because this isn't exactly reassuring. I think I was just reminded why I hate going to the doctor.
posted by GeminiWisdom @ 3:21 PM |


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